Does Working in Pajamas Affect Productivity?

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By Jackie Cohen

work in pajamas

Work remotely and people might ask you if you report for duty in your pajamas every day.

People who don’t work remotely think that those of us who do sleep in and then enjoy a few hours of gleeful twirling in an office chair while wearing boxer shorts.

Remote work may have gotten a bad rap —  in many ways it’s harder than working in an office. It takes discipline, practice and the right kind of person to pull it off.

Don’t Do Video Calls in Pajamas

And you might not be able to do it in your pajamas if you regularly participate in video meetings with coworkers or meet in person with clients.

When you work in an office, no matter how casual the environment, you have at least some concern about looking presentable for the people around you. Even if your office job doesn’t include meeting face-to-face with customers, you still aren’t going to come in with stained or smelly clothing.

Dressing well isn’t just for other people. It makes you feel better. It helps your self esteem. It gives you confidence. It helps you feel — and thus, act — like the best version of yourself.

Dress for Success

That psychology can add to a remote worker’s productivity — groom and dress before punching in, and not only will you feel better, but you won’t be taken by surprise when someone requests a last-minute session with the cam on.

No doubt, plenty of work-from-home handle spur-of-the-moment videoconferencing by donning a clean shirt and blazer but without losing the pajama pants, but there might not be enough time to squeeze in a shower and — for men — shave.

Some people take a hybridized approach and groom mid-day, after first getting a bunch of things done — but then you would have to redirect any requests for video meetings to phone only during the first half of your day.

Others do that for a full day, and don’t groom until they’re done with work. If your meetings are only with coworkers, maybe you could get away with it. But we don’t recommend this as a long term strategy. A good way to break the working-in-pajamas habit: Schedule time to work in a coffeeshop and you’ll probably feel motivated to get cleaned up before going out.

Telecommuting Is Growing

While this might sound like a luxury problem to anyone who works in an office, this type of dilemma might become more commonplace, assuming current trends continue: 37% of U.S. workers told Gallup they telecommuted for their employers, compared to just 9% in 1995.

Employers also say that remote workers are just as productive as those who come into the office.

Not surprisingly, numerous Fortune 500 companies give employees the option to telecommute — and presumably many of them do it in their pajamas — including Apple, Xerox, Dell, Amazon, Kaplan, JetBlue, and others.

So are you among those who work remotely? And if so, how often do you do it in your pajamas?

P.S. If you liked this article, you should check out our productivity app that’s specially geared toward remote teams. Please click here to get started.


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